Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, on Friday praised Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State who he described as one of the poster boys of the ruling All Progressive Congress.
Adesina, who made the statement in an opinion article, disclosed that Zulum has consistently made his people and the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari proud with the number of projects he keeps executing in the midst of insecurity and insurgency in the state.
“Ask me for one of the ‘poster boys’ for the All Progressives Congress (APC), and I’ll gladly show you Governor Zulum. It takes a heart dedicated to service to build roads, schools, hospitals, mass housing, and many others, that the President commissioned when he visited Borno. And the half has never yet been told.
“The APC waxes stronger by the day. While the rival People’s Democratic Party (PDP) waxes weaker and weaker. A topic for another day, but with Governors like Zulum, I’ll put my money on the APC any day.”
The media aide further noted that with the deplorable state in which he inherited Borno State, which has been the epicentre of insurgency since 2009, it would have been relatively easy for the governor to have done nothing in terms of development.
“And he would have a good excuse, a smokescreen, an alibi. We are spending all the money to provide security for our people. They need to be alive first, before we can talk of development. And he would smile daily to the bank.
“But the palm frond flourishes and luxuriates amidst thorns. Despite the humongous resources being deployed to combat insecurity, great developmental strides are also being taken, because Zulum is not squirrelling everything away, building a tidy nest for himself and generations unborn.
According to Adesina, Buhari was taken aback when he travelled to Maiduguri a fortnight ago to commission some projects already completed by the Zulum administration.
“It was like streams in a desert, a breath of fresh air in a milieu once overtaken by death and destruction, caused by the Boko Haram insurgency. The snake is badly scorched, but yet to be decapitated. Soon, and very soon.
“It is said that while he was the Commissioner for Reconstruction, Zulum still lived in the family house. He hadn’t built a home for himself. No wonder he became Governor, and is serving with heart and might, despite the grave challenges,” he said.
The aide disclosed that the president, who was a military governor of the old Borno State, had kind words for Zulum when he visited. He stressed that for a man parsimonious with praises, Buhari said his host was forthright, resilient, and committed to development, despite the security challenges confronting the State.
“The President said the Governor takes huge personal risks to promote peace and development, spending nights with the vulnerable and displaced.
“With public officers like Zulum, confidence is rekindled in Nigeria. Not everyone is a thief. Not everyone is a plunderer. Muhammadu Buhari, honest, straight as an arrow, is replicating himself in many people. Zulum seems to be one, and it makes one glad.
“If what we see in Borno now happens under the miasma of insecurity, what will then happen when peace and amity returns, which will inexorably happen? Kashim Shettima, the immediate past Governor took great strides. He has bequeathed to the State a man taking giant strides. That’s the way it should be. You don’t succeed without a worthy successor,” he stated.
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